How to enjoy bridal gown shopping (Part 1)

By Jaclyn Ianetti

 Bridal GownCheck! ✓

Doesn’t that look…and sound…a whole lot like how a “chore” would?  Instead of treating your dress as a chore to be checked off your “To-Do List,” embrace it as an experience to be enjoyed.  After all, your dress is the one thing that shouldn’t feel like a job hunt on your bridal journey in preparing for your wedding.

You want to enjoy your bridal dress shopping experience.  When you love what you’re doing, it won’t feel like work (as this same rule applies to many situations in life).

To make this into one of the most pleasurable experiences of your lifetime… instead of painful, dreadful, and drawing tear drops down your eyes…get your mind in the right place first.


*When we’re rushing…especially with shopping…we will just buy anything for the sake of getting it done and checking off that “To-do” list.  Think of when you rush to the mall to buy a last minute gift for somebody you love.  It proposes more of a risk in buying just about anything at all, just to have something, whether personal or meaningful or not.  This is where the sincerity loses touch…and you want to know why?  Because you’re not in the present moment!  When you’re fully in the present moment, you’re more in touch with yourself as well as with others.  And you need to be FULLY in touch with yourself to attract what best suits you.   So keep that in mind as you focus on the journey of finding your perfect dress.  Mantra: “It’s the journey, not the destination.”


CREATE A BRIDAL VISION BOARD!! : Your wants and wishes

This helps put all your visions into perspective…your styles, your common themes, etc. into finding the core of style you are mostly leaning towards.  First off, think about what you want, and what you wish to look like.  Spend some time really considering and contemplating over all your options and strategically scan the bridal magazines.  Tear or print out the gowns you absolutely LOVE, and soon enough, your true style will stand out…and hopefully even a specific designer!

This vision board is designed to help you manifest your visions and creations, thus making your shopping experience easier because you will have a better clue as to what you truly want once you connect the dots to see a common theme.

Style the board first…then you can style the aisle in your most beloved dress.

Read Part 2 and Part 3 next


How to enjoy bridal gown shopping (Part 2)

Read Part 1 first

STYLE YOUR SELF : Signature Style

Let’s face it, there are an overwhelming variety of styles to choose from, and when is the last time you ever worn anything even similar to a bridal gown in your life?  It’s not like you dress up like Cinderella in a white ball gown every Saturday night!  And the stress of purchasing the most expensive item of clothing you ever worn before adds to the all-around confusion.  That’s why I suggest simply starting with the vision board to use as your guide and for inspiration.

Princess styles, sleek silhouettes, mermaid fishtail gowns, lace and layers of tulle and taffeta reminiscent of a true fairytale gown, and vintage styles that channel a modern simplicity are all themes of styles you will find in a multitude of creations to choose from in your pile of tear-outs to add to your vision board.  You will start to see some stand out and tell tale signs of similarities that delineate your authentic style.



Designers often have a trademark style that distinguishes them apart from others.  So once you have your epiphany of a certain style, you might also be able to see that one or few particular designers have stood out in your gown choices.  Identify your most favorite ones to keep an overwhelming confusion to a minimum level.  Even if you find that their creations are out of your budget, don’t despair…any bridal shop should be able to point you in the direction of similar styles that they carry themselves.

Boutiques & BUDGETS

Next up, where to shop?  

Finding a boutique can be tricky, but go with your gut feeling and the place that resonates with your overall energy.  No second stops at any place with pushy sales assistants, snooty staff or rushed appointments!  You can find better…and deserve to.

Read Part 3 next


How to enjoy bridal gown shopping (Part 3)

Read Part 1 and Part 2 first

Make an appointment at a store that catches your eye and heart when you’re ready to try gowns on.  While there’s nothing wrong with popping into a bridal shop, you will have a better opportunity (and experience!) for trying anything on when people are available to assist you through an appointment time.  Bridal shops can get extremely busy on weekends, so if you are able to visit or make an appointment for a weekday then you may well be given more time and better service.

And the drumroll for the dreaded word….da da da….BUDGET.  Your budget is your budget and it’s entirely up to you on where you draw the boundary line for going over or under…but do come up with an estimated amount and make sure your consultant/assistant is aware of your range before she shows you options…and before you fall head over heels for your dream dress to later find out its’ triple than the price you plan on paying!  Some bridal stores will offer the option of installment paying.  So do remember to ask if they offer this service.

Also, keep alternation costs in mind.  The standard size you order will be bigger than you expect…and then altered to fit you perfectly.

Adapt the perspective that this is the one single day in your life that is worth spending for, whether you choose to spend a fortune on your gown or not.  Spending a considerable amount on a dress that you fall in love with is fine…don’t compromise your dreams and wishes… and do this while maintaining a healthy balance between budget ranges in mind.


MONITOR your Mood

To best do this, make sure you are healthy in your mind, body, and spirit.  The quickest way to balance and/or boost your mood, is through nutrition…the foods you eat.  This is so significant…and is definitely not the time to be starving your self on a way-too-strict diet.

And don’t skip meals on the days you go to fittings because you think that will make it easier for you to squeeze into that teeny tiny sample size.  You need to try dresses on at the size you actually are

This is not the time for fainting from malnutrition or dehydration, so bring some snacks and water along with you while you shop.  You will be on your feet for long periods of time in sometimes hot and stuffy environments…so you will need your energy, patience, and cooperation.  Dress shopping can be exhausting…and you don’t want to get grumpy from being hungry or fatigued from not being properly hydrated– this is not the best mood to be in when you’re searching for your dream dress.

See the next article “How to shop for a dress” on what, and who, to bring along with you while you shop to enrich your experience even further.